Sam Ehlinger, Ja'Marr Chase's Projected Net Worth with Potential NIL Rule Change

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 27, 2020

Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger (11) during the first half of the Alamo Bowl NCAA college football game against Utah in San Antonio, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019. (AP Photo/Austin Gay)
Austin Gay/Associated Press

If the NCAA officially allows players to earn money off their names, images and likenesses, several of the nation's biggest stars could earn significant money from social media alone.

According to Jeff Tracy of Axios, Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger could earn about $962,000 per year, including $3,296 per post. The rising senior has about 127,000 followers on Instagram and almost 70,000 followers on Twitter

LSU receiver Ja'Marr Chase, who has about 280,000 combined followers, could make $263,000 per year.

The reported estimates are "based on actual data from the last decade of providing the technology behind millions of dollars of transactions between brands and professional athletes," per Blake Lawrence, CEO of Opendorse (via Tracy).

Professional athletes can make significant salaries from social media alone, with Cristiano Ronaldo making about $47.8 million per year just from Instagram posts, per Niall McCarthy of Forbes. Though college players won't reach this mark, they can add income from sources that were previously banned by the NCAA.

In April, the NCAA Board of Governors supported proposed rule changes to allow athletes to benefit from their name, image and likeness, which could go into effect for the 2021-22 season.

This could benefit major stars in college football as well as basketball and gymnastics, as Tracy noted.

Duke basketball star Tre Jones could earn about $250,000 per year, while gymnast Morgan Hurd can make $44,000 once she enters college at Florida, per Tracy. Hurd won a world championship in the individual all-around but under current rules, she couldn't make endorsement money while maintaining collegiate eligibility.

D.J. Uiagalelei, who hasn't even played a down in college, could make $81,000 as the likely future quarterback for Clemson. The 5-star recruit is considered the No. 1 pro-style quarterback in the 2020 class, per 247Sports.

Ehlinger would still have the biggest opportunity as the starter for one of the most popular programs in the country. The Texas passer already has 8,870 passing yards and 68 passing touchdowns in his career, ranking second in school history in each category.

He enters 2020 with 17-1 odds to win the Heisman Trophy, per Caesars Palace.